LAKE MACBRIDE— As July draws to a close, much needed rain came last night, tapping lightly on the bedroom windows. Predawn, the driveway was wet, and the clouds had opened to reveal the waning gibbous moon which illuminated the landscape, reflecting its silvery light in pools of rainwater.
It seems halfway through the gardening season, and the spring abundance has turned to waiting— for the late lettuce to mature, tomatoes to ripen, and four or five varieties of peppers to fruit. The apple and pear trees are laden with fruit, weighing the branches so that I can’t get under them with the riding mower. Biting into a fallen apple, there was sweetness, but also the sourness of immature fruit. Not ready yet, but soon.
One Japanese beetle was spotted on an indicator plant I let grow in the garden, a weed the bugs favor. There was only one, and otherwise, the invasive species has left my apple trees and garden alone this year. Other gardeners and farmers in the area report the same thing. The only thing that changed from years they swarmed is that no one planted winter wheat in our area, favoring corn. This is anecdotal, but there seems to be a connection between winter wheat and an abundance of Japanese beetles showing up in our yard after the wheat is harvested from nearby fields. We dodged the bullet this year, and the apple harvest will be one of the best we have had.
The drama of a great gardening year has paused. We never know what today, or tomorrow might bring, and look forward to seeing how it unfolds as we reach toward winter. Winter. An unlikely topic now. Invoking it reminds us to live as best we can in the moonlight after rain has fallen.